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LeBlanc v. Bouzon

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Third Circuit

March 4, 2015

LINDA G. LEBLANC
v.
BRODY M. BOUZON, ET AL

APPEAL FROM THE FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT, PARISH OF LAFAYETTE, NO. 2013-1355. HONORABLE JULES D. EDWARDS, III, DISTRICT JUDGE.

John M. Jefcoat, Cameron S. Snowden, Galloway Jefcoat, L.L.P., Lafayette, Louisiana, Counsel for Plaintiff/Appellant: Linda G. LeBlanc.

Edward O. Taulbee, IV, Taulbee & Associates, LLC, Lafayette, Louisiana, Counsel for Defendants/Appellees: Louisiana Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company, Abbie Norris.

Court composed of Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, Chief Judge, John D. Saunders, and Phyllis M. Keaty, Judges.

OPINION

Page 1145

[14-1041 La.App. 3 Cir. 1] KEATY, Judge.

Plaintiff, Linda Leblanc, appeals the trial court's granting of summary judgment in favor of Defendants, Abbie Norris and Louisiana Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company (Farm Bureau). For the following reasons, the trial court's judgment is affirmed.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

The instant matter arises out of a three-car automobile collision occurring on March 16, 2012, in Lafayette. Specifically, Linda Leblanc, Abbie Norris, and Brody Bouzon were driving their vehicles in the right lane on Johnson Street, which was congested with stop-and-go traffic. Leblanc stopped at a red light near the intersection of Johnson Street and Churchill Drive. Norris, who was travelling behind Leblanc, also stopped. Bouzon, who was following behind Norris and Leblanc, failed to stop. Consequently, he rear-ended Norris's vehicle, pushing it into the rear of Leblanc's vehicle. Bouzon was issued a citation for careless operation.

As a result, Leblanc filed suit against the following: Bouzon and his automobile liability insurer, USAgencies Casualty Insurance Company, Inc.; Norris and her automobile liability insurer, Farm Bureau; and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Leblanc's automobile insurer. In her petition, Leblanc claimed that she sustained physical pain and mental anguish arising from Bouzon's and Norris's negligence and sought reimbursement of medical special damages and/or lost wages. After witness depositions were completed, Norris and Farm Bureau filed

Page 1146

a motion for summary judgment on her liability, alleging that there were no disputed material facts due to the following: Bouzon failed to safely operate his vehicle; Bouzon failed to keep a proper lookout; Bouzon was afforded [14-1041 La.App. 3 Cir. 2] the presumption of negligence as he was the following driver; and Bouzon cannot submit evidence to rebut such presumption. After a hearing on June 30, 2014, the trial court orally granted Norris's and Farm Bureau's motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability, dismissing them with prejudice. This oral ruling was confirmed by the trial court's written judgment dated July 18, 2014.

Leblanc appeals this written judgment and assigns one assignment of error. She alleges that the trial court erred in granting Defendants' motion for summary judgment as ...


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